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Lurabus,township and farmsteads,Mull of Oa,Islay

A Scheduled Monument in Kintyre and the Islands, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6141 / 55°36'50"N

Longitude: -6.2274 / 6°13'38"W

OS Eastings: 133902

OS Northings: 643720

OS Grid: NR339437

Mapcode National: GBR CF0W.8C1

Mapcode Global: WGYHT.95T0

Entry Name: Lurabus,township and farmsteads,Mull of Oa,Islay

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5938

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: settlement, including deserted, depopulated and townships

Location: Kildalton

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Kintyre and the Islands

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Description

The monument comprises the well-preserved remains of a deserted township and two adjacent farmsteads which are situated in unimproved moorland on the cliff-bound SE coast of the Mull of Oa.

The monument falls into two areas which were, when occupied, associated and are connected by an old track. The larger area comprises the township of Lurabus and the farmstead of Torr an Dobhrain to the NE. Lurabus is probably the largest surviving and best preserved of the numerous townships in this area and is a good representative specimen of this category of settlement on Islay.

Twelve buildings are associated with enclosures of various sizes. There is clear evidence of cultivation to the S of the settlement and aerial photographs show traces of ploughing on the ground to the N. The buildings, which sometimes survive to their original heights, are rubble-built, gable-ended and mainly square-angled; many appear to have been bonded with clay rather than with lime mortar. Vestiges of earlier building foundations occur within the settlement.

One building may have originated as a cruck-framed byre-dwelling; others are dwellings with attached ancillary buildings and preserve remains of chimneyed fireplaces. The complex includes a corn-drying kiln. The buildings are linked by a network of paths, while the major tracks that skirt the S and E edges of the township are bounded by substantial dykes and have the appearance of hollow-ways.

Most of the remains appear to relate to the first half of the nineteenth century and were probably abandoned in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, but the place-name is Norse in origin and the lands of Lurabus have been on record since the later Middle Ages. To the S is a smaller area containing the remains of the farmstead of Tornamoine, which also comprises a group of well-preserved buildings

and enclosures.

The main area to be scheduled measures 750m from SW to NE by up to 250m, while the smaller area measures 110m from SE to NW by 90m; to include the settlements, associated agricultural remains and an area around in which further associated remains are likely to survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the exceedingly well-preserved remains of inter-related farmsteads and a township which have the potential to provide information about the organisation and structure of rural society in post-medieval Scotland. Documentary sources contribute to an understanding of the later development of the site but also suggest, in combination with the place-name evidence, that settlement in this area is likely to have earlier origins.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

Reference:

RCAHMS (1984) Inventory for Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Oronsay.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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